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evaluation

Your Money Matters: An Evaluation

Evidence type: Evaluation i

Description of the programme

Your Money Matters is the first ever financial education textbook developed within the UK. It was created by Young Money, in collaboration with approximately 80 teachers and their students. It was funded by Martin Lewis OBE (MoneySavingExpert). The textbook was written for 14-16 year olds containing relevant information, activities, summaries and case studies. The topics in the book were mapped to the Financial Education Planning Frameworks, resulting in the book having six core chapters:

  1. Saving;
  2. Making the most of your money;
  3. Borrowing;
  4. Moving on from school – the world of work;
  5. Risk and reward;
  6. Security and fraud.

In late 2018, 100 copies of the textbook, along with ten copies of the accompanying ‘Teacher’s Guide’, were delivered to every state-funded school in England (3,385 schools). Additionally, a free downloadable version of both the textbook and the Teacher’s Guide were made available for anyone to access on the Young Money website. This programme aimed to provide teachers with a standardised, free and high-quality teaching resource to support their delivery of financial education.

The study

This 2020 evaluation from Young Money (funded by the Money and Pensions Service) aimed to evaluate the success of the student textbook and Teacher’s Guide, as well as to inform subsequent interventions in this area.

The evaluation took place from May to December 2019 and employed a mixed-methods approach. The qualitative element comprised ten focus groups conducted in five schools across England, with one teacher group and one student group in each school. The aim of the focus groups was to explore issues around the textbook as well as financial education in general, to gain a deeper understanding of the participants’ knowledge, behaviour and opinions.

The quantitative element of the evaluation comprised of two waves of online surveys with both students and teachers. Over the two waves data was collected from 335 students from 17 schools, and from 294 teachers from 280 schools. This element of the evaluation aimed to measure the percentages of participants who held particular views or demonstrated certain financial behaviours.

Key findings

The report is structured around it’s five key findings:

  1. Teachers see financial education as important, with all of the teachers in the focus groups saying so, and three-quarters (76%) of respondents to the survey rating it as ‘extremely important’. Conversations about money at home were also seen as important, with students who discussed money with their parents more likely to be financially aware.
  2. Financial education is inconsistently delivered, despite its perceived importance. While almost three-quarters of teachers (72%) said they had delivered financial education, it was mainly irregular, infrequent, and for short amounts of time.
  3. Your Money Matters was positively received, although some teachers said they were not aware of it, and among those who were some didn’t use it. Teachers were generally appreciative, and said they had previously been unable to find good quality resources.
  4. Your Money Matters content was valuable, and the teachers felt it was fairly comprehensive. Teachers were keen to see more digital compatibility, with some suggesting that having the book in an electronic, editable form would be useful.
  5. Your Money Matters made a positive contribution to financial education in the sampled schools. Nine-in-ten (89%) of teachers surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that the textbook would increase the quality of financial education, while 88% said they felt it would increase the confidence of teachers in delivering financial education. The level of student engagement varied, though most felt financial education was important.

The report gave several recommendations, including:

  • Having the book available as an electronic resource;
  • Tailoring the material for different ages and abilities;
  • Improving support for teachers to use the resource, including training and working with external speakers;
  • Supporting schools to help parents involve their children in money matters;
  • Improving the marketing and promotion of the book, and conducting research into why the textbook hasn’t been used more widely;
  • Improving the research methodology and further evaluation, such as longitudinal pre- and post-textbook research.

Points to consider

  • Methodological strengths/weaknesses: The lack of survey data from a control group means it was not possible for the evaluation to evidence causality.
  • Generalisability/ transferability: The evaluation is of significant interest to educators and stakeholders in education looking to roll out financial education more widely in schools.
  • Relevance: The authors state that it is not possible for the survey results to be generalised to the wider UK population of students and teachers, as self-selection to be in the study may introduce an element of bias. For example, schools already delivering financial education may have felt that the survey was more relevant to them than schools who were not.
  • The survey was only conducted in English schools, and not in the rest of the UK.

Key info

Activities and setting
Quantitative and qualitative fieldwork including surveys, focus groups and interviews with students aged 14-16 and their teachers in a secondary school setting, with data collected in 2019.
Programme delivered by
Young Money
Year of publication
2020
Country/Countries
England
Contact information

Judith Staig, Content Write

Young Money, Young Enterprise

Money and Pensions ServiceMoney and Pensions Service